Wednesday, August 2, 2017

2017-07-29 Team Waterfall Horsepature River Camping Weekend

Horsepasture River Camping Weekend
and Andy's Birthday Celebration
A Team Waterfall Adventure!
Transylvania County, NC
Saturday, July 29th and Sunday July 30th, 2017

Me at Windy Falls

For many years Andy has wanted to get to Windy Falls on the Horsepasture River from downstream. In recent years Team Waterfall has been all over Windy Falls coming from upstream, but nobody has been coming from the downstream direction.  Andy decided that would be our main goal for his birthday celebration weekend this year.

A group of Ten epic explorers met up at Gorges State Park early Saturday Morning and combined into three vehicles.  The journey down to the campsite would require a 7-mile drive on some of the roughest 4x4 forest service roads out there!

L to R: Christy, Andy, Darrin, Elliot, Me, Jill, Bob, Kitty, John, Scott
Ten Went In!

These roads are open to the public, however you are required to have 4-Wheel Drive and a minimum of 8" of ground clearance.  Since my new truck only has 7.8" of clearance, I decide to go with my wife Amy's Subaru (aka Wallie) which has 8.7" of clearance.

I didn't run into any issues on the drive in, but the real test would come on the steep drive out!  I wouldn't attempt these roads with any less clearance and 4WD is absolutely essential!    It took almost an hour to drive the 7-miles to the campsite.

Soon after we started setting up camp, Kyle, Angelina, Josh, and Ziggy rolled in, so we were up to 13 plus one dog, which would be the group for Saturday's main adventure.

The majority of us successfully made it all the way to Windy Falls and back.  The section of river is loaded with awesome waterfalls, cascades, slides, swimming holes.  A true Team Waterfall Playground!  Here are some of the photos:

The first of many awesome swimming holes we came across

Darrin going for a slide

Bob sliding down a waterfall

Jill gives it a go

Darrin staring into the face of a Demon

Darrin goes down head first

Angelina makes a splash

Soaring above the Horsepasture River


Kyle takes on the steep slide

Kyle, Ziggy, and Darrin

Kyle takes another turn

Darrin getting some Go Pro footage of his slide

The professor relaxing

Heading up towards Rooster Tail Falls
Can you spot Kitty and Jill?  

Kyle at Rooster Tail Falls

Josh takes a leap

Bob and Andy at Windy Falls

 Darrin and Elliot

 The Professor Gives Windy Falls the Thumbs Up!

 Josh at Windy Falls

 Darrin at Windy Falls

 John goes 2.7 seconds on a log named Fu-Manchu

 Darrin sliding down the side of Windy Falls

Andy and Christy at Rooster Tail Falls

On the return trip I was bushwacking under and around some deadfall when I stirred up a Yellow Jacket nest.  I managed to escape with only two stings, but one of them was on my bottom lip which is by far the most awkward place I have ever been stung.  I sure hope never to top that one!

While we were out on our adventure, Johnny arrived at the campsite bringing the total up to 14 plus Ziggy!

Johnny presents Andy with a Birthday Treasure!

 Most of the Group hanging out at Camp

Shortly before dark, Spencer showed up with three friends bringing the Grand Total to 18 plus Ziggy!

A very enjoyable evening was had around the campfire!

Andy's Birthday Celebration Group Photo
(not my best photography work, but a great time with some awesome friends!)

The next morning after packing up camp, the large group of (18) would split into several smaller groups. 

For my morning hike, I joined Johnny, Darrin, Bob, and Elliot on a hike to Lower Bearwallow Falls.  I had been to this one once before about 5 years ago, and I was eager for a return visit.  In my opinion, Lower Bearwallow Falls is one of the prettiest waterfalls anywhere!

Lower Bearwallow Falls

 Lower Bearwallow Falls - Vertical Composition

Group Photo at Lower Bearwallow Falls
L to R:  Elliot, Me, Bob, Darrin, Johnny

On the hike out, we ran into most of the others giving us an opportunity to say our goodbyes once again  (until next time).

Wallie handled the drive out like a champ!  My respect for Subaru Engineering jumped up a few notches after that drive!

It was an awesome weekend with some awesome friends both new and old!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANDY  (one of the OLD ones)!

My complete set of photos is posted here:

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